The strategy made perfect sense, since Blackmon burned TU for 174 receiving yards and three touchdowns in its meeting with OSU last season. And technically, the strategy worked, as the Golden Hurricane became the first team in 15 games to hold Blackmon to less than 100 yards receiving.
The problem for TU was that also allowed Josh Cooper and Tracy Moore to get open in the middle of the field. And let Hubert Anyiam to streak down the sideline to receive a 36-yard flea-flicker pass for a touchdown. And let nine other players besides Blackmon to record a catch.
“If you start rolling to Blackmon like Tulsa tried to do, that's what happens,” Weeden said. “We've got other guys that can make a ton of plays.”
Blackmon is still the unquestioned superstar of the receiving corps, but OSU has shown it has plenty of options in 2011.
Fifteen Cowboys have caught a pass so far this season. Thirteen of those players have multiple catches. All four starters—Blackmon, Cooper, Anyiam and Moore—have at least seven catches, 100 yards and one touchdown.
“We're so stacked at receiver,” Moore said. “It's hard to keep your position.”
It's a group that has come a long way in a little more than a year.
Before the 2010 season, there were questions if the Cowboys had enough receivers to run the spread offense. Dez Bryant and Keith Toston were gone, Anyiam was hurt and Blackmon had not had yet turned into the Biletnikoff winner.
Now, the Cowboys still have Blackmon. And Cooper, whose 68 catches in 2010 was the seventh-highest total in a season in OSU history. Anyiam is back healthy, and Moore is in the best shape of his career.
Add Michael Harrison and Isaiah Anderson on the outside and Josh Stewart and Colton Chelf on the inside, and the Cowboys have tons of depth.
It's a group that has confidence. And it's also a group that trusts the right person is going to get the ball, based on the defensive scheme the opponent is playing and the decision-making of Weeden.